21st December 1944
Fog still very thick. Lay late in bed, after a wonderful night. About quarter past 10, the house was violently shaken by a rocket, somewhere S. or S.W. Cleaned cycle, went into town. This afternoon went round to War Agricultural Committee and saw Capt. Folkard who was very kind. Collected a lot of books, papers, antiquities, etc. which I had left there, also my paper cabinet, but the filing cabinet which I lent them had quite disappeared. I suggest Nott has taken it for the depôt. Decided to leave my drawing board which is used for maps, and they have nothing else. A glamorous red-head has been added to the staff. Thelma is still there, dashing about very happily. Says she is anxious to join the WRNS. Funny that after all I never had my office in dear old A.G. Wright’s house [former Curator of Colchester Castle Museum] – how odd, I might have had his bedroom, where he died. Remember so well standing talking to his sister in the dining room [after his death] in 1926, with never the slightest idea that I should ever enter that house again.
Home to tea. Fog a little clearer, and some bombers beginning to go out.
To Holly Trees. Poulter even more despondent, about the Museum, my going, the troubles in Parliament and in Greece. There is now talk among some Home Guard commanders about leaving the Home Guard armed, so as to deal “with any indiscipline among civilians” at the end of the war.
Fog coming on again, the lights in High Street glowing through misty halos. Crowds of people going home, carrying parcels and bunches of holly, trying so desperately to keep up the old Christmas traditions. Got to Boxted soon after 8. Listened to 9 o’c news. The Government intend to send the ATS abroad compulsorily, into battle areas if necessary. But one light in the glum – public clocks may now be lit at night.
Trier has been badly raided – what tragedy. God knows what dreadful damage may have been done to the Porta Nigia and the rest.
The “East Anglian” today records the death on Monday last of dear old Bull of Great Baddow, who for these 10 years and more has been a wonderful friend to the Museum. The old chap was 82 – had never thought of him being so old. The last important find which he reported to us was the mediaeval tile-kiln, at Danbury, in the spring of 1939.
He was always so kind to us when we went out there, and so full of enthusiasm for his discoveries. His work at the Twitty Fee site was very valuable.
On the back page of the same paper is a paragraph about my appointment, in which I am credited with being a member of the Essex Archaeological Society – which I am not.
Coming out through Mile End tonight, heard down Mill Rd, childish voices singing “Nowell”, while some drunk Americans at the bus stop were bawling “Jingle bells, jingle bells.”
Sat down and made a new will – £100 to Rose Browne, all the rest to Father, and after him to the Quakers for relief. £10 to horses’ home, same to the Van Horse Society for prizes. All my notebooks, diaries, plans, everything, to the British Museum. The Colchester “Prospect” of photographs to the National Buildings Record: all my books to the Roses: architectural books to Sissons; any pottery or other antiquities to Chelmsford Museum, the “John Rudsdale” mug to York Museum; horse books to Grubb; the phaeton to the Science Museum, old Bob to be destroyed; the stable to Hampshire; my saddles to Joy Parrington; to Colchester Museum – my best wishes.